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Imants Ziedonis
Imants Ziedonis

And suddenly there was such silence
the sun stopped at heaven's edge
and held its breath
Perhaps the winds would change
Perhaps the guards would change
Perhaps my voice would change:
I've been young for too long


Neither a present nor a future. What has been
has never been better than it is for us now,
not what was a moment ago or what soon shall be.
Because our duty is to live this moment.

Free my bird through a white window
and keep a white wind in the treetops!
Call in, feed the shepherd,
we too are shepherds like him.

If victory exists, then it's in this moment, the now
this almost improbable sprouting of a grain,
Everything is probable, while we look into each other's eyes.
Everything is possible — while we still call each other by name.


It's important
that the column of smoke climb to heaven —
if you have six chairs,
burn three.

That wreath of roses,
you wound round a window, —
it's important,
you burn it.

And that words burn
you also know.
Before I burned
you didn't know me.

And everything that is
of consideration before burning —
how odd —
it's not worth its own ashes.


I am alone. I am uncountable.
This liberated light no longer contains rays.
I don't know if I plow in a church,
in a house or perhaps a desert of light.

That other form of being that arrives strangely
announces itself as great and incomprehensible.
For days now all has altered.
Self-actualised. Non-destroyable, non-breakable.

I am alone. I am uncountable.
I counted and arrived at One.
You can check: there is my house
and my counted out yesterdays.

Translated by Margita Gailitis